noun im·pe·tus \ˈim-pə-təs\

: a force that causes something (such as a process or activity) to be done or to become more active

: a force that causes an object to begin moving or to continue to move

Full Definition of IMPETUS

a (1) :  a driving force :  impulse (2) :  incentive, stimulus
b :  stimulation or encouragement resulting in increased activity
:  the property possessed by a moving body in virtue of its mass and its motion —used of bodies moving suddenly or violently to indicate the origin and intensity of the motion

Examples of IMPETUS

  1. His discoveries have given impetus to further research.
  2. <the reward money should be sufficient impetus for someone to come forward with information about the robbery>
  3. In a revealing comment, Mr. Updike says an impetus for Rabbit, Run was the threatening success of Jack Kerouac's On the Road, the signature book of the 1950s Beat Generation, and its frenetic search for sensation. —Dennis Farney, Wall Street Journal, 16 Sept. 1992

Origin of IMPETUS

Latin, assault, impetus, from impetere to attack, from in- + petere to go to, seek — more at feather
First Known Use: 1641


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